Donald Joseph Kettler

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His Excellency
Donald Joseph Kettler
Bishop of Saint Cloud
Rio de Janeiro - Mgr Donald Joseph Kettler - 2.jpg
Bishop Kettler in Rio de Janeiro in 2013
Province Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Diocese Saint Cloud
See Saint Cloud
Installed November 7, 2013
Predecessor John Francis Kinney
Successor Incumbent
Other posts Bishop of Fairbanks (2002-2013)
Ordination May 29, 1970
Consecration August 22, 2002
Personal details
Born (1944-11-26) November 26, 1944 (age 70)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Nationality  American
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Styles of
Donald Kettler
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style not applicable

Donald Joseph Kettler (born November 26, 1944) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the eighth Bishop of Fairbanks, and the fourth since the creation of the Fairbanks diocese in 1962. He currently serves as the ninth Bishop of St. Cloud following his installation on November 7, 2013.

Life and church[edit]

Donald Kettler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Joe and Marguerite Kettler. His family later moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where Kettler and his three siblings (Jim, Beth, and Kathleen) were raised. He received undergraduate and divinity degrees at Saint John University in Collegeville before being ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1970.

Kettler then served as an associate pastor in Aberdeen and Sioux Falls until 1979, whence he began coordinating work for the diocesan offices of Sioux Falls. In 1981, he entered the Catholic University of America, from where he obtained his licentiate in canon law. Kettler was named judicial vicar of Sioux Falls in 1983, and resumed his work coordinating its diocesan offices from 1984 to 1987. During this time, he also began celebrating a weekly televised Mass.

After serving as rector of St. Joseph's Cathedral from 1987 to 1995, he was pastor of St. Lambert Parish from 1995 to 2000, and of Christ the King Parish from 2000 to 2002. Kettler was also a member of the Sioux Falls Diocesan Finance Council, Stewardship Committee, Catholic Family Services's Board of Directors the Association of Christian Churches of South Dakota's Board of Directors, and a Board Member of the Sioux Falls Catholic School System.

On June 7, 2002, Kettler was appointed the eighth Bishop of Fairbanks, Alaska, by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following August 22 from Archbishop Roger Schwietz, OMI, with Bishops Michael Warfel and Robert Carlson serving as co-consecrators. He is the first diocesan priest and non-Jesuit to head the diocese.

After a public announcement three weeks earlier,[1] Bishop Kettler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, following unsuccessful negotiations to settle dozens of sexual abuse claims, on March 1, 2008. The Diocese of Fairbanks thus became the sixth diocese in the United States to go bankrupt.[2]

Pope Francis named Kettler Bishop of St. Cloud on September 20, 2013. He was installed as the ninth bishop of the diocese on November 7, 2013.


  1. ^ Catholic News Agency. Diocese of Fairbanks to file for bankruptcy February 15, 2008
  2. ^ Whispers in the Loggia. Bankrupt March 4, 2008

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Michael Joseph Kaniecki, SJ
Bishop of Fairbanks
Succeeded by
Chad Zielinski
Preceded by
John Francis Kinney
Bishop of St. Cloud
Succeeded by